[This post is part of our Knitting in Memoriam series. A blog series in which ERIBÉ gather together some of our hand-knitters inspiring stories about knitting in wartime. Read Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.]
A centenary provides us with the opportunity to pause; and remember. This year marks 100 years since the beginning of the First World War, a conflict that altered the lives of all who lived through it. Although many veterans are no longer with us, we would like to take this opportunity to honour their memory as well as the memory of those who have served in later conflicts; from the Second World War to the present day.
Extreme events often seem to call out extraordinary qualities in people. The men and women who lived through these times exhibited amazing ingenuity, creativity and resilience that is still inspiring today. Both on the battlefield and at home, they used the skills and resources they had to survive their world being turned upside down.
When I began researching for this article I hoped to find out about knitting in wartime, but I found myself being drawn into a much larger story. As I listened to memories and family stories from our knitters I realised that knitting is about more than just technique, material or pattern; it is about people! Each piece of knitting has a history imparted to it before reaching a new owner and continuing its journey.
I hope to share with you some stories I have been told by the people who were there at the beginning. We do not know where many of their creations ended up, but each scarf, jumper or balaclava began in a kitchen, classroom or village hall with hands young and old holding the needles.
It is a privilege for ERIBÉ to work with such inspiring people, who add something of their experiences to every piece they knit. We hope you enjoy hearing some of their memories of knitting in wartime .